This Tahoe project was based in Savannah, Georgia, and our first task was getting a baseline horsepower figure. To handle this, we made the short drive out to Asian Automotive, where owner and lead mechanic Mickey Carter strapped the Tahoe to his Dyno Dynamics chassis dyno. Asian Automotive works on more than just import cars, and they can also do custom ECU tuning. After several pulls, the 5.3L laid down 268 rwhp and 281 lb-ft of torque. Those numbers are actually pretty decent for an all-stock Tahoe.
Recently, we received a letter from a subscriber challenging us to build a custom truck without using a shop, air tools, or unlimited funds. We admit being guilty of showing tech stories installed in our own shop, however, the biggest reasons why we do that are convenience and good photo quality. Humbly accepting this latest challenge, we set out to transform a 2010 Chevy Tahoe into a corner-carving, tire-roasting SUV that would still function as the family hauler. All of this would be accomplished while the Tahoe was parked in our driveway and we'd only use handtools during the weekend-long project.
The second upgrade was the installation of a Magnuson/MagnaCharger supercharger to the 5.3L V-8. Using Eaton's TVS1900 rotors, the MagnaCharger provides 6 psi of boost while still maintaining daily drivability and reliability. MagnaCharger includes everything needed to add more than 100 rear-wheel horsepower to the 5.3L, which consists of new injectors and rails already installed onto the blower assembly for easier installation, a heat exchanger for cooler intake air temps, and all of the pulleys, hoses, nut and bolts. A big plus to this supercharger kit is the fact it is 50-state emissions legal and you don't have to be an ASE-certified mechanic to install it. The full-color instruction manual made the install straightforward, and besides the basic handtools found in most toolboxes, the only thing we needed was a grinder/cutoff wheel to clearance the alternator mounting bracket. The supercharger took a full nine hours to install, but we performed all of the work ourselves and saved a lot of money on labor costs. Check out the photos to see what all is involved, and if your truck or SUV could use more power, give Magnuson a call.